Wythe W. Willey
Jackson County native and longtime Cedar Rapids, IA, lawyer Wythe W. Willey died Dec. 19, 2010, after a two-year battle against cancer. A tireless advocate for small family farms, healthy agriculture and effective government, Willey leaves behind a legacy of sustained contribution to Iowa and the nation. He was 68.
Calling himself a cattleperson first, Willey continued to run his family’s century farm and ranch near Maquoketa throughout his life. His love of agriculture took him from two championships for reserve cattle at the Iowa State Fair while in high school, to two terms as president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, to president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Willey won critical litigation that ensured equal opportunity for the beef industry in the marketplace and successfully advocated to bring a state-of-the-art beef packing facility to Iowa. His law practice focused primarily on agriculture interests, in particular, property rights issues. Hailed as a “natural leader” by fellow ranchers, Willey was the winner of BEEF magazine’s 1997 Trailblazer Award. BEEF quoted him as saying that “a healthy and viable beef industry was the backbone of a healthy and viable rural America.”
Willey served for 10 years as chief of staff to former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray, and ran Iowa field operations for Sen. Chuck Grassley. It was while on Grassley’s staff that Willey met his wife of 25 years, Susan, who served as tax counsel.
President George W. Bush appointed Willey to his advisory committee on trade policy. He was one of five appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad to redraw congressional districts in Iowa following the 1990 census.
His interest in politics began while he was an undergraduate at Iowa State University (BS ’64) and a law student at the University of Iowa Law School (JD ’67). He was active in the Young Republicans and ran the campaign for the Republican congressional candidate in the district that included Cedar Rapids.
Republican leaders and candidates continued to seek his advice and support throughout his life, particularly with respect to judicial appointments.
In addition to his wife, Susan, Willey is survived by their two children, Katharine and James; his three children, Joe, Audra Haddy and Jeff, and their mother, Wythe’s first wife, Ruth Burton; his sisters, Madeline Meyer of Odebolt, Sara Haytcher of Moline, IL, and Carla Getz of Missoula, MT; and his uncle, Ingwer Carstensen, of Delmar; and six grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, F.E. Wirth Willey and El frieda Carstensen Willey.
Memorial service was held Dec.
22 at Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Rapids.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, www.gcrcf.org.
Adrian F. Weaver
1928-2010 Adrian Franklin Weaver Jr., 82, of Fort Collins, CO, passed away Dec. 11 at his home following a short illness.
He was born March 20, 1928, in Denver, to Adrian Franklin Weaver Sr. and Eva Conkey Weaver. Adrian married Geraldine Pence on April 11, 1953, and they had three daughters, Susan, Maxine and Mourine.
They divorced in 1979. He later married and divorced Letha Moen.
Weaver was raised at the family ranch at Virginia Dale, CO, and worked on neighboring ranches. He graduated in 1946 from Elsinore High School in California and from Colorado A&M in 1952 as a doctor of veterinary medicine. While in college, he was active in the rodeo club and continued to rodeo until 1973.
Weaver practiced veterinary medicine in Colorado and Wyoming. As he became more involved in his ranching operation, he phased out of his veterinary practice. In 1969, he moved the ranch headquarters to Owl Canyon, CO, and added the Cottonwood Ranch at Sedgwick, CO, in 1989. He continued to summer cattle at Virginia Dale and Tie Siding.
Weaver was passionate about his Angus cattle, ranching and the rural and western lifestyle. He had been retired from veterinary medicine for several years and he continued ranching until his death.
Adrian was the first president of the Albany County Stock Growers, one of the original cooperators in the Northeast Colorado Bull Test Center and one of the first Colorado seedstock producers to pulmonary arterial pressure test his cattle.
He received numerous awards and recognition for his Angus cattle and his work in the livestock industry, including the 2009 U.S. Live stock
Industry Leader of the Year award from the Record Stockman.
He is survived by his daughters, Susan and Mourine Weaver of Fort Collins, CO., and Maxine Weaver of Cheyenne; his grandson, Sheldon Emerson of Fort Collins; his granddaughter, Darby Emerson of Houghton, NY, and two sisters, Adeline van Biene of Baker City, OR, and Adevee (Charles) Roebuck of San Diego; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Adrian Franklin Weaver Sr. and Eva Weaver.
A memorial sevice was held at Weaver Ranch in Fort Collins. Honorary pallbearers were Sheldon Emerson, Lyle Linman, Robert Mortimer, Pete Burns, Red Garretson, Bill Bashor, Roy Lilley and T.V. Jones.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Adrian F. Weaver Benefit Fund at Wells Fargo Bank in Fort Collins. The proceeds from the fund will go to scholarships for largeanimal veterinary students and seedstock members at Colorado State University and for Ag in the Classroom.